Toronto vs Montreal

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Toronto vs Montreal Which is the Best City for Students

If you’re thinking of studying in Canada and want to live in a city in the eastern half of the nation, Toronto or Montreal seem like natural possibilities. They are still recognised as the most popular student-friendly cities in the world, not just in Canada. When it comes to actually living there as a student, these two cities have a lot to offer. So, if you’ve reduced your options down to these two popular cities in Canada, but can’t decide, then here’s our comparison guide on the most significant factors to consider when deciding between Toronto vs Montreal.

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A Brief Comparison between Toronto vs Montreal 

Toronto vs Montreal, Canada’s two major cities, are among the most attractive destinations for young people to live and study. Both towns have varied populations, distinct cultural blends, great quality of life, and stunning natural environments.  With a population of roughly 5.5 million people, Toronto is the largest among the two cities in Canada, while Montreal has a population of 3.8 million. Toronto is likely to have more progressive ideas and various cultures due to its size. 

Since both the cities are on the southern tip of Canada, their climates and weather are more or less similar and hence are comparable too. However, because Montreal is farther north, it is colder in the winter, whereas Toronto’s winters are more like those of New England. Because of the cities’ closeness to the ocean, the summers are hot and humid. Canada’s official languages are French and English. While learning French is recommended everywhere you go in Canada, non-French speakers may find it simpler to get around in Toronto. It is mostly English-based, although there are many other languages spoken in other parts of the city.

Credits: Mr. Beat

Did you know: A part of the region of Quebec and Montreal have stricter French-language requirements because the area is heavily populated by French Canadians, who are the descendants of the original French colonists.

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Top Universities in Toronto vs Montreal

One of the most significant considerations for an international student is deciding between the best-fit universities in Toronto vs Montreal. Both of these student-friendly locations are home to prestigious universities as well as other, more specialised institutions. A high rating indicates that the university has a strong academic track record as well as a high rate of employability. These top-ranked Canadian institutions compete with the best in the United States and the United Kingdom, offering foreign students a diverse choice of educational opportunities and degree levels. The most popular subjects of study are available in both locations, and all degree levels, from bachelor’s to PhD programmes, are available. Here is a list of the top universities that are present in Toronto vs Montreal: 

Top Universities in Toronto Top Universities in Montreal 
University of Toronto University of Montreal 
York University Concordia University 
Ryerson University McGill University 
George Brown College HEC Montreal 
Seneca College University of Quebec at Montreal 
Humber College Polytechnique Montréal 
University of Toronto Scarborough Vanier College 
Centennial College Collège LaSalle

Cost of Living in Toronto vs Montreal 

When it comes to deciding where to reside, the cost of living is a major issue to consider. International students will not be able to afford to live in either Toronto or Montreal. However, if we compare the cost of living factors for international students between Toronto vs Montreal, we may conclude that Montreal is less expensive than Toronto. According to estimates, living in Montreal is 20%-25% less expensive than living in Toronto. Of course, the most noticeable change is in the accommodations. Without a doubt, Toronto is recognised for its high-priced accommodations. According to Transfer Wire, an international student’s cost of living in Toronto without rent is almost around CAD 1,038 (INR 60,775) per month or CAD 12,464 (INR 7,29,779) per year. In comparison, an international student may live in Montreal for roughly CAD 944 (INR 55,272) per month (without rent). These fees may be much lower if you enrol as a full-time student. In Toronto, you’d be looking at CAD 879 (INR 51,466) per month without rent, whereas in Montreal, you’d be looking at CAD 675 (INR 39,521) per month. The most notable distinction is that students in Montreal are not subject to the same high taxes as citizens

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Transportation Facilities in Toronto vs Montreal 

Despite servicing a smaller population, Montreal’s metro is the country’s most popular and widely used public transportation system. The TTC’s subway map simply does not cover enough of the city, and a greater proportion of Montrealers live within walking distance of a metro station. While Toronto has edged out Montreal in terms of suburban rail, the REM light rail system will soon provide fast and regular service to the North Shore, South Shore, airport, and West Island. In the summer, Montreal is a bicycle infrastructure leader, with over 700 km of bike lanes and trails.

Interesting Fact: The Montreal metro was developed during the golden days of Expo ’67, and each station was assigned to a different architect. For each station, significant investments in public art were also undertaken. It was also one of the world’s first wholly subterranean metro systems, with no exposed entrances on the street and an extensive network of tunnels connecting downtown workplaces, retail, and transit centres.

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Climate and Weather 

Without a question, Canada’s winters are bitterly cold. Arctic winds may cause storm warnings, and the winter weather can be deadly if you’re not prepared. The weather isn’t a deal-breaker if you have to choose between Montreal and Toronto. Montreal has significantly cooler temperatures than Toronto since it is slightly further north. The temperature in Toronto will dip to roughly -3 degrees Celsius on an ordinary January day. On colder days, temperatures might drop below -20 degrees Celsius. During the peak winters, the average temperature in Montreal is roughly -9 degrees Celsius, with storms bringing temperatures as low as -28 degrees Celsius. In addition, Toronto has warmer temperatures throughout the summer. Montreal has a pleasant summer, however, unlike Toronto, where temperatures often reach 35 degrees Celsius, Montreal’s summers average approximately 26 degrees Celsius.

Toronto vs Montreal: Winters in Montreal
Credits: BBC

Culture in Toronto vs Montreal 

When it comes to the culture of these two cities, international students should be aware that the general quality of life in Canada is quite excellent, and this is true in both Toronto and Montreal. In Montreal, where there are more restaurants per capita than anyplace else in Canada, France’s culinary tradition goes on. Because the city’s cuisine culture is so ubiquitous and you have so many alternatives, you’re likely to discover a terrific French restaurant in Montreal that fits your budget. Toronto’s prominence as Canada’s largest metropolis allows it to provide a greater range of culinary and heritage cultures than Montreal. The city is also a better location for street food, which is a favourite dining option among young people, particularly international students. In a nutshell, both cities are multicultural and cosmopolitan, with a long history and diverse populations. While none of these cities would leave you bored with things to see and do, each has its distinct cultural vibe and eccentricities.

Here’s one of our top reads on the 10 Biggest Culture Shocks for Students in Canada

Multilingualism in Toronto vs Montreal 

When comparing the two most populous Canadian cities, Toronto vs Montreal, most people tend to overlook this aspect of comparison. Without a question, Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. It has become the primary entry point for immigrants to Canada. However, there is one area where Montreal outperforms the rest of the country, and that is language. Montreal is Canada’s most multilingual city, with well over half of its residents speaking both French and English. Over a third of the population does not speak French or English as a first language, and many Montreal residents speak three or four other languages.

Fun Fact: In Montreal, international students may encounter Portuguese Montrealers who speak Portuguese, English, French, Vietnamese, and even Spanish immigrants who send their children to French high schools and English universities.

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Toronto vs Montreal: student life in Toronto
Credits: University of Toronto

Things to Do as an International Students 

Are you wondering what student life in Toronto vs Montreal feels like? In this segment of our blog, we will be throwing some light on what students and tourists can possibly do and explore when living in Canada. 

Theatre and Concerts

Most big-name theatre and concert acts make a pit stop in Toronto on their journey around North America. The Distillery District is home to most of the major entertainment venues, as well as several smaller dance, theatre, and music studios. The city of Montreal, on the other hand, offers a diverse range of theatre, including the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. Cirque du Soleil is a modern spin on the traditional circus and one of Montreal’s most important cultural exports.

Heritage Sites

In either of these cities, those who appreciate museums, art galleries, and other historical attractions will not be bored. From Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica to Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, there are bound to be works that astonish and inspire. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular historical sites in Toronto vs Montreal.

Heritage Sites in Montreal Heritage Sites in Toronto 
The McCord Museum of Canadian HistoryToronto Zoo
Montreal Botanical GardenRoyal Ontario Museum
Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours CathedralCasa Loma
Notre Dame BasilicaOntario Science Center
Montreal BiodomeArt Gallery of Ontario

Festivities and Celebrations 

Immigrants and international students enjoy street festivals because they generally have a cheaper entry fee and a diverse range of activities, food, and merchandise to purchase. Both cities take pride in their festivals, which take place both outdoors and indoors. The city of Montreal boasts a thriving yearly event calendar. The International Fireworks Festival is a great way to kick off the summer. Following that, there will be a variety of celebrations to choose from, including jazz, film, and comedy. Toronto has several festivals throughout the year, including the well-known Toronto International Film Festival. In Toronto, students will also discover the second-largest Pride Festival. They’ll be able to enjoy enjoyable outdoor activities like Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade even throughout the holiday season.

Did you know: Caribana is a special celebration that specifically celebrates the Caribbean and West Indies culture in Toronto. It is also the largest street festival in North America. 

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Sporting events are popular in both Toronto and Montreal. Ice hockey is, unsurprisingly, Canada’s most popular sport. Canadians, on the other hand, love a variety of sports, including:

  • Baseball
  • Cricket
  • Basketball
  • Curling
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Rugby
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer

Montreal’s number one sport is ice hockey, and the Canadiens are the best team in the country. Toronto, on the other hand, boasts better teams in practically every major professional league in North America, including the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, and more.

Pro Tip: Both of these student cities are ideal for international students who have an active nature. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and skiing are just a few hours away in the countryside. Students may also make use of excellent outdoor places in both cities, such as parks and water-front promenades, which will allow them to enjoy the outdoors and the changing seasons closer to home.

So this was all about the battle between the two most popular student cities in Canada, Toronto vs Montreal. In the end, whether you study in Toronto or Montreal will be determined by the institution and its offers, as well as the city’s culture, nightlife, and cost of living. Are you planning to study in Canada in 2022? Then kindly reach out to our Leverage Edu experts on 1800572000 and kickstart your study abroad journey in no time! 

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